MANILA, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III has approved the "Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012," a senior official said Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda hoped the passage of the law will remove the Philippines from the U.S. watch list.
"This (human trafficking) is a concern and a priority of our president and this measure will be enforced by the different agencies especially the Department of Justice as well as our police agencies," he said.
In the State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report 2012, the Philippines was placed under Tier 2, which means the government did not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act's minimum standards, but was making significant efforts to bring the country into compliance with those standards.
Aquino signed the new law or Republic Act No. 10364 on Feb. 6 this year.
The law provides for stiffer penalties against those who would violate it and required the development of a protective and rehabilitative programs for trafficked persons.